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How to work safely at height

Date posted: 19 September 2012

When completing DIY tasks around the home, heights always present a problem because you want to make sure that you complete all tasks without causing any harm to yourself.  For this reason, you will want to look at some safe ways to get to high levels without worrying about falls or other problems. 

Many times a problem can be prevented by just using a platform that is the right height, instead of straining to reach something out of your grasp. If you do not own one, then you may want to look into hiring a ladder to make sure that you can complete the job safely.

Before you start any job, you want to make sure that all of the hazards or obstacles surrounding the area that you will be working in are removed. Also, you should remove any slip hazards or spills on the ground that may cause problems with the ladder.

Be aware, that there are many different types of ladders, some are designed for specific tasks so it may be advisable to take advice from the experts at the local hire provider about what kinds of access and platforms are available for hire. 

In addition, you will want to be careful when choosing proper clothing for working at height. Flat shoes with a non-slip sole are the best choice as are clothes that are not loose so that they do not get stuck on anything. Depending on what you are working on, there are a variety of different types of platforms and ladders that you can look into. 

If you need to reach the roof of your home to clean the gutters or adjust a satellite dish then hiring a roof ladder may be all you need to finish the task safely. On the other hand, if you are decorating or repainting or doing significant works, then you may want to look into a hiring a working or decorating platform as this will allow you continuous support and safety while above the ground.

Also, you will need to think about the type of tools that you are going to use while you are working at height, because lightweight, small tools are easy enough to use as long as you select the correct  equipment, but larger tools can present a real safety issue if you do not have anywhere to place them.  In this type of situation, using a platform may be the best choice. This way you do not have to worry about the tools falling or about losing your balance from the weight of them.

Finally, you need to think about the weather before you attempt to climb any ladder, if the weather is poor, work from a platform or erect an access tower. Windy conditions and rainy conditions are considered hazards while at greater heights, and can sometimes mean the difference between safety and a fall that could lead to serious injury. 

Remember that a task can always wait one more day until the weather is better to be completed, but an injury could take months or years to recover from and judge your decision appropriately.

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